Usual care and a self-management support programme versus usual care and a relaxation programme for people living with chronic headache disorders: a randomised controlled trial protocol (CHESS).
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INTRODUCTION: Chronic headaches are poorly diagnosed and managed and can be exacerbated by medication overuse. There is insufficient evidence on the non-pharmacological approaches to helping people living with chronic headaches. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Chronic Headache Education and Self-management Study is a pragmatic randomised controlled trial to test the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a self-management education support programme on top of usual care for patients with chronic headaches against a control of usual care and relaxation. The intervention is a 2-day group course based on education, personal reflection and a cognitive behavioural approach, plus a nurse-led one-to-one consultation and follow-up over 8 weeks. We aim to recruit 689 participants (356 to the intervention arm and 333 to the control) from primary care and self-referral in London and the Midlands. The trial is powered to show a difference of 2.0 points on the Headache Impact Test, a patient-reported outcome measure at 12 months post randomisation. Secondary outcomes include health related quality of life, self-efficacy, social activation and engagement, anxiety and depression and healthcare utilisation. Outcomes are being measured at 4, 8 and 12 months. Cost-effectiveness will be expressed in terms of incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year gained. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This trial will provide data on effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a self-management support programme for chronic headaches. The results will inform commissioning of services and clinical practice. North West - Greater Manchester East Research Ethics Committee have approved the trial. The current protocol version is 3.6 date 7 March 2019. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN79708100.